The Mid-Week Beat: Vinyl Rules

big_vinyl_rules_1Today is an important day in history for all lovers of vinyl records. On this day in 1878, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and unwittingly created the “record business” as we know it today.

Previous inventions had succeeded in recording sound, but Edison’s phonograph was the first device to be able to reproduce sounds. The original phonograph recorded sounds onto a tinfoil cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds. In the 1880s, Alexander Graham Bell made improvements on Edison’s original phonograph by introducing the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved in a “zig zag” pattern across the record. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that Emile Berliner introduced gramophone records: flat, double-sided discs with spiral grooves, the early ancestors to today’s vinyl records.

The vinyl record dominated the market of recorded music until the mid-1960s when 8-track tapes were introduced to the public. These would be followed by cassette tapes and eventually compact discs, which almost succeeded in eradicating vinyl records all together but luckily hip hop DJs and turntable enthusiasts kept the vinyl market alive until today, when we’re seeing a resurgence in vinyl production and consumption. Part may be due to nostalgia but many argue that digital formats like CDs and mp3s are unable to recreate the “warmth” that vinyl gives to a recorded piece of music.

I know for me personally, my favorite songs always sound better on vinyl, pops and hisses aside. I admit that part of this is nostalgia and the fact that putting a piece of vinyl on a turntable somehow makes that music seem more special than something I double-click in iTunes. There’s a ritual involved and a sense of tangibility that will never exist with digital files.

So, in honor of the record, I’m featuring some events that center either around vinyl itself, famous record labels, classic albums that are synonymous with vinyl or styles of music that rely heavily on vinyl.

And, be sure to thank Edison for all the great recorded music we’ve enjoyed for the last 136 years.

52a8fd08967a9.preview-620Friday, February 21 I Respect Yourself Screening and Book Signing with Author Robert Gordon Atlanta, Georgia

Some of my favorite records to spin on a Saturday night are old Stax Records sides like Otis Redding’s Live In Europe or any of the amazing records by Booker T. and the MG’s, Stax’s house band.

At this event in Atlanta, music historian and Memphis native Robert Gordon will be signing copies of his book Respect Yourself after a screening of the documentary with the same name about Stax Records. The book tells the story of a white brother and sister who build a record company that becomes a monument to racial harmony in 1960’s segregated south Memphis. Stax defined an international sound and their story is loaded with epic heroes in a shady industry. It’s about music and musicians–Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, and Booker T. and the M.G.’s and the legendary sound that they helped forge.

After the screening Gordon further discusses his work with The Bitter Southerner‘s Editor-in-Chief Chuck Reece and resident “soulologist” Nelson Ross.


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Hot Tickets: Seattle

valentinesdaydinneranddanceHere are this week’s Hot Tickets in the Seattle area. Check back every Thursday at noon, PST for stellar events that fit the interests of locals and tourists alike.

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Friday, February 14 I Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dance

“Accompanied by his four-piece band, Kline brings a little humor and a lot of swagger to the old standards with a fresh vitality and offers a great opportunity for couples to kick up their heels in support of a great local institution.”

“Get your kicks” on Route 66, but wine and dine your Valentine on Orcas!

Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to swing to the sounds of Half Pack LIVE!, a Vegas-style show band that’s bouncy, fun and well-delivered entertainment reminiscent of the old Vegas Strip when Frank and Dino were kings. Veteran singer and entertainer Troy Kline will be performing in a Valentine’s Day benefit for Orcas Island Children’s House at the The Rosario Resort Beachhouse (Discovery House).

Accompanied by his four-piece band, Kline brings a little humor and a lot of swagger to the old standards with a fresh vitality and offers a great opportunity for couples to kick up their heels in support of a great local institution.

Local favorite Gene Nery will provide additional musical talent to the Seattle-based band! And look for additional local entertainment throughout the evening, including magician Matthew Laslo and young songstress Stormy Hildreth.

A silent auction will be held in conjunction with the event.


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The Mid-Week Beat: Music for Lovers

r2eValentine’s Day is this weekend and I’m sure the significant others out there are frantically thinking up plans for showing their special someone how much they love them. Sure, there’s flowers, dinner, chocolates, etc. but personally, I relish the times when my wife and I have gone out and enjoyed some good music. Whether we be dancing or just swaying to the beat, music has a transformative quality that makes us feel that we’re the only ones in the room and that the musicians are playing just for us.

So, this week, I’m going to highlight some musical events that are sure to get you in the mood for love. Doesn’t matter where you’re at or what kind of music you dig, I’m sure there’s something here for everyone.

Valentine’s Day – Friday, February 14

Loves Me- Presented by Marco CollinsSeattle, Washington   Get your romance on with an intimate evening curated by Marco Collins showcasing a cross section of diverse NW artists. Featuring live performances from: Shelby Earl, Shaprece (with IG88), Shawn Smith (Brad/Satchel), Maiah Manser and Mark Shirtz.

Always… Patsy ClineConway, Washington   Ria Peth Vanderpool and Kelly Bohon reprise their roles as Patsy Cline and Louise Seger, respectively. The musicality and humor of the two on stage is a can’t miss! Join them at The Conway Muse, the perfect venue for such a show. The show opens on VALENTINES DAY, and runs Friday and Saturday evenings for six weeks! Dine before the show in the restaurant, or bring your dinner and drinks from the restaurant into the theater with you! The laid back atmosphere of the theater is perfect for a special date night.
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Artist Ticket Picks: Getting Back to Abnormal, Roxy Music, Body Painting and more.

getting_back_to_abnormalWelcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Sunday, February 3 I Getting Back to AbnormalSeattle, Washington

New Orleans’ long history of political dysfunction gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after Katrina. Four years later, she needs to get black votes to be re-elected. Getting Back to Abnormal follows the odd couple of Head and her irrepressible political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans’ complicated political scene. Featuring provocative commentary from New Orleans cultural figures like David Simon (Treme, The Wire).

** WARNING! This trailer contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **


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Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday to Daniel Johnston

chapterone2Most people know singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston from the 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston but this one-of-a-kind musician was influencing underground musicians well before the celebrated documentary came out.

Johnston became initially known within the Austin, Texas music scene in the early to mid 1980s. He recorded all his material on a $59 Sanyo monaural boombox, singing and playing piano, guitar and chord organ. He would hand out his cassettes to pretty much everyone he met and eventually gained attention from the press, developing a large and devoted fan base through his quirky, yet heartfelt, compositions.

Johnston self-released his cassette-only releases for almost a decade before he actually entered a real recording studio in 1988 to record 1990. However, it’s these early, lo-fi recordings that he’s best known for and which contain some of his best-loved songs like “Speeding Motorcycle” and “True Love Will Find You In The End.”

These early recordings have earned him a reputation as a seminal artist in the so-called “lo-fi” and “outsider” genres, but Johnston’s method of recording was more based out of necessity than a desire to achieve any sort of artistic aesthetic. It goes without saying though, that Johnston’s primitive recording techniques did give his songs a certain vulnerability that is often hard to achieve in a “professional” recording studio. The songs were recorded “as-is” complete with out-of-tune guitars, instrumental flubs and background noise! The definition of D.I.Y.!


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Artist Ticket Picks: A Roller Skating Party in San Diego, A Sinful Tour of Portland and more!

314458-250Welcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Sunday, February 9 I Roll’n’LoveSan Diego, California

Burners are taking over Skate World & fundraising for C.O.R.E.! (Circle of Regional Effigies). Admission includes skate rental and two raffle tickets. Tunes will be provided by DJs Lee Reynold and KnottyBoy (BOOGIE/Liquid). Circus entertainment provided by Cirque Quirk & Zephyrus Circus Arts.

Your raffle tickets qualify you for The Gambler’s Raffle. Here’s how to play:

1.) Locate the C.O.R.E table next to the DJ booth.
2.) Choose which prizes you’d like to win.
*Each prize will have a clear, glass jar so that you can SEE how many tickets OTHER players have put down on that item.
3.) Hedge your bets to win your raffle prize of choice!

There will also be a roller hooping contest, a photo booth and face painting by Bri.

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Thursday, February 13 I Oly Old Time FestivalOlympia, Washington319199-250

Oly Old-Time Fest is coming! Come on down and enjoy a long weekend of jamming, dancing, learning, and breaking rule #1 1930’s style. There will be two dances, a concert, workshops, and lots o’jammin’!! Advanced purchase get you a ticket to the Thursday night dance, Friday night concert and Saturday night dance!

This year, will again be at The Olympia Ballroom inside the Urban Onion Building. There will also be additional workshop space at The First Christian Church, just a couple of blocks away.
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The Mid-Week Beat: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement

Dr.-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-005With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up this Monday, this week is a chance for us to remember this great man and the incredible struggle that he helped spearhead: the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

And, since this is the Mid-Week Beat, it’s also important to remember what a key role music played for those involved in the struggle. When one thinks of the music of the civil rights era, we largely think of so-called “freedom songs”: African-American gospel hymns like “Go Down Moses” or “We Shall Not Be Moved,” that had deep roots in the African-American churches and socially concious folk songs sung by artists like Julius Lester, Odetta and Pete Seeger. The freedom songs were collaborative in nature and they served as a tool to bring people together in the struggle and to gain strength from one another.

Many younger African Americans involved in the movement, however, sought to separate themselves from the old church tradition and wanted music that was more revolutionary in spirit. Music that could be cranked at parties and was more receptive than participatory. Therefore, it was the soul and r&b that was being produced in Detroit by Motown or in Memphis by Stax, that spoke to this, more militant, generation.
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The Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday to Elvis and Bowie!

Happy-Birthday-Elvis-Presley-David-Bowie-elvis-presley-18274375-500-311Today marks the birthdays of two major forces in modern popular music, one has sadly passed on and the other continues to create original and challenging music. I am, of course, referring to the legendary and iconic Elvis Presley and David Bowie.

Elvis Presley was born on this day in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. It was in the Assembly of God church in Tupelo that Elvis first discovered his love for music. He entered a singing contest at the age of ten at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, winning fifth place, and, a few weeks later, got his first guitar for his birthday. He would take lessons over the following year and would watch and learn from other guitarists but he remained shy and nervous about performing in front of other people.

He eventually began bringing his guitar to school on a daily basis, playing and singing during his lunchtime, despite being teased for playing “hillbilly” music. He became a fan of Mississippi Slim’s radio show on the local radio station WELO, and Slim’s younger brother, who was a classmate of Presley’s, began taking him to the station. Slim begain showing the young Presley guitar chord technique and eventually scheduled him for two on-air performances. He chickened out of the first one but made it to the second.
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Artist Ticket Picks: Doktor Dolittle, Blackheart Romance, Chastity Belt and more!

lotte_reiniger_doctor_dolittleWelcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

DVD_Dolittle_800Thursday, January 23 and Saturday, February, 1 I Do the Doktor DolittleSeattle, Washington

Long before Eddie Murphy or Rex Harrison appeared in the role on the big screen, Lotte Reiniger, a 29-year-old German animator, created the first feature film about Doctor Dolittle and his thrilling journey to Africa.

Reinger’s film, made near the end of the silent film era, is a masterpiece of intricate silhouette-animation techniques that weaves a magical tale of talking animals and the benevolent doctor who understands what they say.  We have commissioned Seattle musicians and composers Miles and Karina (Dave Keenan and Nova Devonie) to compose and perform a new score for the film, featuring guitar, violin, accordion, banjo and other instruments. To sweeten the deal, they’ve also scored three more short films created by Reiniger: her haunting 1922 version of Sleeping Beauty, and two other exquisite short films created as advertisements for, of all things, Nivea Creme and the British postal service. Special thanks to Allison Das, translator.

Program:
Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty, 1922, 9 min)
Das Geheimnis der Marquise (1920, 2 min)
Doktor Dolittle (Reels 1 & 3, 1928, 22 min)
The Tocher (1937, 5 min)


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Artist Ticket Picks: Americana Music, Children’s Films, Pancakes and more!

Chatham+County+LineWelcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Friday, January 24 I CHATHAM COUNTY LINE and guestsSeattle, Washington

Chatham County Line is a four-man American roots band that emerged from the bluegrass scene in Raleigh, North Carolina at the turn of the millennium. In their matching suits and ties, gathered around a single microphone, they look like a traditional bluegrass band, but in the words of the Washington Post, “the minor chords, patient tempo, and bittersweet irony owe more to Neil Young than to Bill Monroe. This blend of bluegrass arrangements and folk-rock songwriting has led to five terrific, if under appreciated, studio albums from the North Carolina quartet since 2003.” Their newest album, Sight and Sound, is a live album that captures their rich blend of  bluegrass, country, and folk.

The band features Dave Wilson on guitar and harmonica, John Teer on mandolin and fiddle, Chandler Holt on guitar and banjo, and Greg Readling on piano, pedal steel, and standup bass.  All four sing, with Dave most often taking lead.  Their vibrant harmonies, poignant arrangements, incisive lyrics, and catchy tunes deliver a contemporary take on timeless traditions.


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